The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

August 7, 2013

Electric bills expected to decline

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — FULTON, Ill. — Fulton residents soon will see a change in their electric bills, but it won’t be an increase in the amount due.

At a City Council meeting on Monday, Fulton officials approved a recommendation from Rock River Energy Services representative Mike Mudge to accept a new city-wide aggregation bill.

The previous provider of the city-wide energy service First Energy, unable to contend with competing prices, folded the operation and appointed ComEd as Fulton’s energy provider.

“What happened was ComEd’s rates dropped tremendosly, putting them below our city rate,” Mudge said. “First Energy was supposed to match that rate, and simply said we cannot match ComEd’s rate.”

By not matching the competing rate, First Energy gave the city of Fulton the opportunity to opt out of the three-year contract they had signed to find a better deal within the energy community.

Mudge, Fulton Mayor Larry Russell and City Administrator Randy Balk discussed what options were available to the city, and decided to explore other energy providers to find the best deal for the city and its residents.

“We just want to look out for the citizens and small businesses of Fulton,” Russell said. “They are trusting us to to look out for their best interests.”

After discussing a variety of options, the city decided to approve a contract with Verde Energy for two years at a 5.987 percent guaranteed rate.

“I think that (rate) for a community this size is a really good deal,” Russell said.

To prepare residents, the First Energy company has sent out letters informing them of the changes to be made. If they so choose, individuals can opt out of the aggregation agreements with the city and choose their own energy company.

Residents who choose to stay with the aggregation bill will receive a letter informing them of the change in company, but will not be required to follow up on any additional paperwork unless they choose to opt out of the program.

The only difference they will see, according to Mudge, is the amount of the bill.

“I was doing some math a little bit earlier and it will save the community about $6,000 a month or about $10 a household, over what we already have,” Mudge said.